By Millie Elwell, University of Maryland College Park, USA
Living in the USA for a year is perfect for travelling the country and sometimes it’s good to have a break from a college town. I’ve had quite a few adventures this year, and I encourage you to do the same. Here’s my top 3:
My absolute number 1 trip this year was visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras – such a dream! You dance all day and all night, and the weather is great for February. I advise that you book quite early, as the flights and accommodation are quite expensive. The best area for parades is Saint Charles Avenue / Louisiana Avenue, the best for food and drinks is the French Quarter, and then Tulane University is fun for the nighttime.
My second favourite trip was Nashville, mainly because of how much I’ve gotten into country music this year. There is music everywhere, lovely Southern people and Southern food, and fascinating history. I felt like a complete tourist, but honestly it didn’t matter. Cowboy boots for the win!
My third favourite trip was Miami for spring break, which was quite expensive but the beaches and nightlife were both fantastic so it was okay. My main advice for Miami is plan, plan, plan! Things get booked up quickly. Also, do not get scammed by the promotors (which may or may not have happened to my friends) – only go with them to places if it’s free! And if you’re male, just a warning, you’ll be charged more… BUT, great food and it was the most European-esque I’d felt all year which was a treat.
Other places I’ve been and loved include Philadelphia, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Montreal, Savannah, Charleston, Arizona, and the Appalachians. Other exchanges made it to California, Seattle, Vancouver, Utah, and more…
Being in Maryland means three airports (DCA, BWI and IAD), a train station and multiple coach stations – it is easy and cheap(ish) to get around the country, just plan!